Bill Lipsin, the well-respected channel executive who helped steer NetApp's channel program through difficult times and saw the company become the only major storage vendor showing significant growth today, is leaving the company.
Lipsin was known to channel partners as an outgoing executive who listened to their needs and acted on them.
NetApp Tuesday told CRN via email that Lipsin, who has served as NetApp's vice president of global channels since he was hired in May 2015, is leaving the company.
No reason for Lipsin's departure was given, and NetApp declined to provide further information other than a statement that read, "Today, Rick Hegberg, Vice President of OEM and Alliances, notified the global channels team that Bill Lipsin, Vice President of Global Channels, will be leaving the company. The team will report to Rick while NetApp conducts a search for the replacement. We wish Bill all the best and thank him for his many contributions."
A NetApp spokesperson told CRN that Lipsin's last day at the company is expected to be Aug. 18.
Lipsin was unavailable for comment.
Lipsin is a very friendly and gregarious person, and very engaging with partners, said John Woodall, vice president of engineering at Integrated Archive Systems, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based solution provider and longtime NetApp channel partner.
The vice president of global channels for any large company is really a sales job, with a focus on go-to-market with channel partners, Woodall told CRN.
"Like any sales activity, they will talk about products and programs," he said. "But in the end, it all comes down to relationships. Bill was a great relationship builder. He talked with partners, listened, and took feedback back to NetApp to make the channel better."
When Lipsin joined NetApp, that company's channel program was in a state of turmoil, Woodall said.
"Bill and [NetApp's former vice president of Americas] Scott Strubel came in and put programs in place to lift up the channel," Woodall said. "Bill was a good front man to the channel. He made NetApp relatable to channel partners."